There were a lot of moths in my trap last night including
This is a Small Blood-vein – not normally on the wing until July
A Figure of Eighty (the white markings = 80)
And a Rosy Footman
The first two species are new to my garden list
The contents of my moth trap changes now as we approach autumn. It is now dominated by Large Yellow Underwings, Flame Shoulders, Common Rustics and Square-spot Rustics – an overwhelming predominance of brown moths.
This is a Cypress Pug – a species which is associated with Leylandii and other introduced Cypresses – it was first recorded in Cornwall in 1959. It is still uncommon but it found along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent
It won’t be long now until the proper autumnal moths begin to appear
There are a group of moths known as the Footman moths and last night I had four different species in my trap. All footman species have caterpillars which feed on lichens.
This is a Four-spotted Footman – this is the male (the female has two spots on each forewing). It is a large moth being around twice the size of other footman species – as a result it is unmistakable. Nationally this is a rare moth but there are strong colonies in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It has the designation of National Scarce A which means it occurs as a breeding species in between 16-30 10 km squares. However it is also a known immigrant species so numbers can be bolstered by animals from the continent. Impossible to say whether this is a breeding species in my garden or an immigrant.
This is a Scarce Footman – a much more compact species which has the habit (which is the ID clincher) of appearing very thin as it rolls its wings around its abdomen. It is a local species but is more common than its name suggests.
A few colourful moths from my garden trap
This is the lesser broad bordered yellow uunderwing – common with the caterpillars feeding on a range of plants such as white dead nettle, broadleaved dock and Arum Lily